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Pay-Per-Click, SEO or Both?

In an ideal world, you would be focusing efforts on both SEO and paid advertising to increase website traffic and increase sales. Both can serve you more traffic and increased qualified leads. Maybe you’re not sold on Pay-Per-Click, or SEO is not going to give you the instant results you need, OR you just straight-up don’t have the budget to do everything. We get it.

So, this begs the question – which should you choose?

SEO and PPC are both efforts to place your website in front of quality customers above your competition, but through different means. So, before you have your mind made up about what’s best for your business, let our web marketing and SEO team give you some basics.

graphic comparing SEO and PPC services

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of visitors to your website through organic search engine results. So not only do you seek MORE traffic through SEO, but also users who are interested in your company/product. Organic results are results served without paying Google.

We recently wrote a post on quality website content that details how Google search works. Every search engine has a crawler that gathers information across the internet, brings back information and builds an index. This index goes through an algorithm that matches a search query with data.

There are many factors that play into SEO, and because of endless algorithm updates from Google and other search engines the factors are always changing. And while I won’t get into all the factors we consider when dealing with an SEO client, here are a few things you’ll want to consider about SEO to see if it’s a good fit for your business:

Long-term strategy: SEO is a long-term strategy. To gain a significant increase in traffic and quality leads can take up to a year or more. Depending on the equity your website already has in the search engines, you may be a tiny ant climbing up a huge mountain. The task is not impossible, but it will take time and money.

It’s not one-size-fits all: SEO strategies, and service costs, vary depending on where you are, where you want to be and how fast you want to get there.

Website design: To execute an SEO strategy your website needs to be optimized. This can be a large investment, but it includes a robust CMS, optimal site structure, valuable content, mobile friendly design and usability, among MANY other things. Without a solid foundation you cannot expect to see success in the search engines.

Build credibility: SEO strategies are often partnered with regular, valuable content. Investing in quality, relevant and consistent content as part of your SEO strategy not only builds credibility with the search engines, but with your customers and the community you’re serving. It’s also about about making yourself a valuable resource for the community your potential new customers come from.

Pay-Per-Click

PPC marketing through Google Ads offers advertisers two ways to reach people: 1. through Google Search Network and 2. through Google Display Network. Both use a PPC auction system, where advertisers bid to have their ads shown to matched audiences.

Google Search Network, or “search ads”, appear above organic results. The Google Search Network allows you to show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords that you’ve selected. So if you own a contractor business, for example, you bid to have this texted-based ad show up every time a user types in Windows Omaha.

PPC text ad example

Google Display Network shows ads to users who are searching for your product or service. These “display ads” are placed on websites you think your target will be on. These image-based ads work well for re-engagement campaigns, showing ads to visitors who have already been to your website, in hopes they will come back and purchase/convert. This is often called remarketing or retargeting. For instance, we purchased something from Williams Sonoma six months ago… and they are still retargeting us.

banner ad example

These Google search and display ads are a great opportunity to capture quality leads and is an excellent way to reach your target audience. So here are a few things you might want to consider about PPC advertising:

Long-term strategy: PPC, like SEO, is a long-term strategy. You’ll want to run ads and refine your reach/budget based on the data. These ads may bring much quicker results than trying to gain traction in organic rankings.

Cost: The cost is mostly dependent on your Google budget. If you’re in a highly competitive industry it can get pretty pricey.  If your AdWords campaigns are well-targeted, optimized correctly and have an appropriate CPC bid, you’ll be able to show your ads to a responsive audience, nearly guaranteeing a positive ROI. Many businesses can run successful AdWords campaigns for a reasonable cost relative to the amount of money you make with each conversion.

Remarketing: While retargeting is great for most businesses, it’s especially useful for eCommerce websites. You can create and target audiences of users who have already visited your website with tailored banner ads, including image and video ads. Through these dynamic ads, a product from your store can follow a prospect until they pull the trigger!

Target niche terms: PPC can provide an affordable way to advertise for a niche phrase. Often more specific keyword phrases can run much less expensive than a short keyword. So, for instance, instead of ‘tires’ consider ‘winter truck tires.’

Either/Or, or Both: You can choose to do text ads, or banner ads, or both. If you have little traffic to your website, you’ll want to consider text ads to drive quality traffic to your website. If you have a lot of traffic, but want to reengage that traffic, you’ll want to consider banner ads.

Assessing Your Marketing Goals

Your decision to invest in SEO and/or PPC Google AdWords should be based on your company’s marketing strategy. By assessing your long and short-term goals, your budget and your competition you should have a starting place for which service you should invest in.

Also, looking at the data can be difficult. Assessing where you are and where you want to be can be easier with the guidance of an experienced SEO and web marketing team. Let us know if we can help answer your questions, if you want to explore an SEO or PPC campaign for your business, or need help assessing your current SEO or PPC situation. We’re happy to help!

Web Designer or Website Builder?

I honestly cannot think of a business who doesn’t need a website. Maybe you can surprise me with one, but… nope. Can’t think of one. And since we are in this age where you must have a website to build credibility and you must be competitive in the search engines to break into almost any market, it’s no wonder the market is being overwhelmed with website builders.

Wix and Squarespace are website builders. And they are just a couple of an endless list of companies who provide out-of-the-box, DIY solutions for little-to-no cost. A website builder, at it’s most basic level, is a tool that eliminates the needs to know CSS, HTML or any other coding language. You select a template, drag and drop, plug and chug.

Free? I love free.

Free sounds awesome. I love free samples, I love free hugs, I LOVE free shipping. And these free (or cheap) website builders certainly fill a need in the market. They provide a DIY solution for a company with no budget for a website. It’s available at your disposal and the determining factor for launch is the time you’re able to invest.

The truth is, some people just cannot afford an experienced web design company. That’s okay! That’s why website builders exist. However, there are several disadvantages to using a website builder.

icon to represent building a website

No professional guidance

The hands-down best benefit you will receive when partnering with a web designer and developer is the savvy guidance you will receive from start to finish. A professional web design team can offer advice on layout for aesthetics, on page structure for usability, on call to action for increased conversions, for preparations to make your website market-ready upon launch.

You can probably spend time reading about these things and gain some insight, but a web design team with expertise in what works will provide a better product with opportunity for growth.

Poor SEO

Many website builders do not offer the tools needs to be competitive in search engines. As Google makes frequent changes for user satisfaction, algorithms are changing and so are requirements for website success. Missing out of robust tools for SEO success could be the difference between your success and failure.

Not only can a web design company provide a website equipped with tools for SEO success, but they can also provide insight into keywords and information on HOW to optimize your website for these keywords. Or they can even do it for you. A web marketing team can analyze Google data to determine best practices for success. You cannot get this with a website builder.

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Time intensive

There are certain things I am just not willing (or able) to do myself because I just do not have the time. I will pickle my own garden vegetables, make my own bread before buying it in the store, and ALWAYS make my brownies from scratch because I do not believe in box brownies. But I will NOT make my own kombucha. I must draw the line somewhere.

We all choose how we spend our valuable time. So, the question is, do you want to spend your time building your own website? What else would you do with that time?

This blog isn’t meant to knock down people who need to use a website builder. It’s simply meant to shed light on some of the realities of selecting a website builder vs a web designer.

Our Omaha firm has seen major market shifts in the last couple years. Expectations are changing, our processes are changing, and end-products look different than 10 years ago. However, partnering with a web design firm that can care for your entire online image may be the thing you need for success. And it may be the thing you need to save time and resources in the short and long-term.

 

 

Website Content: Strategy for SEO Value

Have you ever been to a website and felt overwhelmed by the amount of information?

Many businesses think they must build their credibly online by telling visitors every detail about themselves, services, products, etc. The purpose of a website, for many small businesses, is to briefly introduce visitors to their business, and provide just enough information to cause prospective clients to pick up the phone. Providing good calls to action (a contact form, survey, prominent phone number) along with quality content will encourage prospects to contact you.

Another important point about a website’s content is it’s relevancy to the business, the service and industry news. It’s no longer acceptable in the web world for, say, a web design company to write about their employee’s dentist visit and throw in a few relevant keywords, such as Omaha web design. With the advanced nature of Google algorithms and Google bots, it’s important that your website content be concise, relevant and full of pertinent keywords – to both the article and the industry.

All of this advice points back to some work on a business’ behalf. If you are a business owner or an overworked employee you may not have time to review the website and consistently post quality articles. With so many companies competing for high organic search engine rankings, it’s important to stay on top of website content. Look at it as time and money spent toward a marketing budget. This is why companies like JM offer copywriting and SEO (search engine optimization) services. If you do have time – GREAT! Review your current content and evaluate it. Also, add a blog to your site, through which you can easily manage your website’s content.

Just remember – give a prospect a reason to call you. Your website is just a window into what you do and who you are.

JM Offers New SEO Packages

JM is growing and expanding to serve the needs of our Omaha web design clients and the online community. We recently began offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services in an effort to continue to fill our client’s marketing needs – along with their web design and development needs.

In case you don’t already know, SEO is a technique which helps search engines find and rank a site, among the millions of sites utilizing similar keywords and phrases. Users tend to visit sites near the top of search engine rankings, so good placement is key to success on the Internet.

For the last 15 years, JM primarily focused on providing Omaha beautiful and functional web design, ecommerce websites, robust content management systems and custom development. And while all these items are critical in a website’s success, the next step is to market a website using strategic SEO.

Google and Bing are the two major search engines, and are constantly changing their algorithms (the rules and formulas a search engine uses to rank websites and produce results). JM’s team will stay updated on the industry news and updates, managing a websites SEO value efficiently and effectively.

Our SEO packages include a large amount of research, optimized keywords and pages, new and fresh content, along with an XML site map. We’ll continue to go into each of these items on our blog, but feel free to give us a call and request more information on our SEO services and how we can assist your company’s marketing efforts.